Glass v. Polycarbonate

Here at Fuse, you can probably guess what material we prefer for our shades. However, we do know it is all up to your preference. So, here is all the information on glass and polycarbonate that you’ve been craving:


Glass has been around for SO long. Not that I’m saying old things are bad (Hi, Grandma). But, it’s been almost 1,000 years. 

While it certainly has staying power, the amount of eyewear you see fitted with glass has diminished in recent years.



  • Scratch resistant: Glass is inherently hard to scratch. While you can definitely still scratch it if you tried (so don’t try to prove me wrong), it does not require an additional coating to protect from minor scratches like other materials.

    Glass Ray Bans

    Glass lenses shatter.

  • Optically clear: Glass is very optically clear. This is why you will find it in camera lenses, microscopes, binoculars, etc.
  • Bifocal Approved: For prescription, glass lenses are recommended for bifocal or trifocal lenses due to its ability to be molded together without a noticeable edge.


  • Heavy: Glass is thicker and nearly twice the weight of polycarbonate – this means it can get uncomfortable if worn for a long period of time.
  • Shatters: While scratch resistant, glass has very little impact resistance. This means glass cracks and shatters like nobody’s business. This can leave your eye vulnerable to dangerous shards of glass flying around from just inches away.
  • No UV protection: Glass requires a special coating in order to block any UV rays.
  • Limited Colors: Glass is more limited in the ways and colors it can be tinted.



Definitely newer to the game, polycarbonate was developed in the 1950s.

Since then, the applications of polycarbonate have become widespread and it is a staple in the eyewear industry.



Polycarbonate can take a bullet.

  • Shatterproof: Polycarbonate will not shatter and is around 10 times more impact resistant than other lens materials. This makes it ideal for safety goggles and children’s eyewear.
  • Lightweight: Polycarbonate is thinner and thus lighter and more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
  • UV protection: Polycarbonate inherently blocks 100 percent of UV rays, without requiring additional coatings.
  • Flexible: Due to its lightweight and shatterproof properties, polycarbonate is an ideal material for replacement lenses! They are safer and easier to remove, and can fit in a variety of frames without weighing them down.
  • Variety: Polycarbonate is easier to treat with virtually all tints. This allows them to be available in a wider variety of colors than glass lenses.


  • Scratches: While it is shatterproof, polycarbonate does require a scratch-resistant coating for durability.


    Nailed it – with Polycarbonate

  • Distortion: Those with sensitive eyes may experience distortion while wearing polycarbonate. This is especially true around your peripheral vision in prescription lenses.
  • Reflective: Can produce more lens reflections especially in lighter-colored and clear lenses – which is why an AR coating is awesome on polycarbonate.


Each material has its advantages and there are even more options than just these two! Depending on what you do and how you feel in your lenses, you may have developed a preference. Some people swear by glass lenses, and that is A-OK. Of course, keep in mind that we highly suggest impact resistant polycarbonate if you plan on playing dodgeball (or any other activities where things – tree branches, balls, the ground, punches – may come in contact with your face).
Which material do you prefer?

Posted by Jessica

Jessica is a caffeine dependent life form that can often be found helping with Fuse events, sending out emails, watching cat videos, giving away all of our stuff, or answering your questions on social media.


Larry Weaver

Wow! I didn’t realize that polycarbonate is shatterproof. What makes it so that polycarbonate is impact resistant? I imagine that having something that won’t shatter would also be a great material for making signs, as well as eyewear.

Polycarbonate was developed for a ton of different uses! It has even been used in fighter jet windshields.

Hilda gonzalez

Do these glasses have lil recorded n hidden camera

Hi, none of these images show any sunglasses like you are describing. We do offer lenses for the Snapchat Spectacles, which may be what you are thinking of. They can record video and connect to your phone via bluetooth.

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